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Old April 30th, 2008, 01:20 PM   #1

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How historical figures saw themselves?


If they could see the way we view them today, who would be pleased with their lasting legacy as they have been (inaccurately?) recorded?

Many, but not all, were vain, single-minded and self-centred, so who would be least pleased/flattered with the legacy written by their successors/contemporaries, for various reasons, long after major events in their own time?

- Cleopatra?
- Ghengis Khan?
- Queen 'bloody' Mary I?
- Watt Tyler?
- Mary Seacole?
- Marie Antoinette?
- Adolf Hitler/Stalin?
- Rasputin?
- King Richard III?
- Ann Boleyn?
- Caligula/Nero?
- Boudicca?

And who might be most pleased with the way they are remembered today, for whatever reason? ie.

- Admiral Nelson?
- Oliver Cromwell?
- Hannibal?
- Alexander the Great?
- Elizabeth I?
- Julius Caesar?
- Duke/King William I?
- King Henry VIII?
- Winston Churchill?
- Marquis De Sade?
- Lord Byron?

And how did all these, and other, people see themselves?
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Old April 30th, 2008, 02:21 PM   #2

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Re: How historical figures saw themselves?


Alexander the Great will be pretty pleased with his legacy. Somehow, rather unfairly, he's managed, unlike Genghis, to get all his attrocities massaged from history and remebered as a general not butcher.

Boudicca, a tiny revolt by an eastern tribe with no concept of her country existing beyond Norfolk and everyone else as forigners. Puffed up by the Victorians to a major rebellion and national hero.

On the other side. Henry VIII probably died assured he would be remembered a great man, at least a great warrior, and be supprised to find himself looked down upon the way he was.

The one I wonder is how the American founding fathers thought history would remember them. Did they think they would have the saint like adoration?

Last edited by Toltec; April 30th, 2008 at 02:26 PM.
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Old May 1st, 2008, 12:16 PM   #3
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Re: How historical figures saw themselves?


How about Alfred the Great?

Most of which we know about him he actually wrote himself...even the Great I suspect.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 01:12 PM   #4

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Re: How historical figures saw themselves?


The epithet "Great" was added retrospectively because, not only his brilliant and co-ordinated warring against the invading Danes (the "great army" of 865) which culminated in that particular viking army (under warlord Guthrum II) becoming Christian after the crushing victory at Edington in 878, but his subsequent reform of education for the people, his massive program of refortifying semi-military burhs, re-organising of the (Wessex) English the army and navy and introducing good laws.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 01:26 PM   #5

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Re: How historical figures saw themselves?


Geo. Washington, Franklin. J.Adams, Hamilton, John Paul Jones, David Crockett, William Travis, James Bowie, Sam Houston and even Jefferson would LOVE the high adulation and missives about their lives & deeds.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 01:39 PM   #6

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Re: How historical figures saw themselves?


I think PEDRO EL GRANDE would be rather pleased with his press coverage.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 05:22 AM   #7

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Re: How historical figures saw themselves?


i like a particular quote by Napoleon;
"if i had succeeded, i woud have been the greatest man in history"
:-)
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